President Rutherford B. Hayes introduced the Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn in 1878. That was also the year he vetoed the Chinese Exclusion Act – the first time our federal government tried to ban immigrants solely on the basis of their ethnicity. Improbably, the Easter Bunny appeared during the Nixon years, and in 2008 the man inside the bunny costume was a minor political appointee in the Bush administration named Sean Spicer. Hayes’ veto almost got him impeached, but the egg hunt has lived on – at least until now, when the current administration is reportedly having trouble getting it together.
I mention all this because a friend asked me why Trump didn’t fire Spicer after his favorable comparison of Adolf Hitler to Bashar al-Assad, at least with regard to the use of chemical weapons. I wonder if it’s because, with Melania in New York and Jared otherwise occupied, the White House staff needs Spicer in a bunny suit on Monday.
Spicer’s latest misstep joins a long list of gaffes that began with his excoriation of the press for correctly reporting the size of the president’s inauguration crowd and has featured his butchering the names of various heads of state. This has inevitably raised questions about his credibility.
When the man who speaks officially for the Trump administration has lost his credibility, you wonder why they keep sending him out there. I can think of only two reasons: either he’s a dynamite Easter Bunny or this White House doesn’t much care about credibility. We’ll know Tuesday.